June 12-14, 2013
$1750 + 13% HST
June 1, 2013
Recent research findings and insights from a broad range of disciplines—anthropology, education, communications, psychology and neuroscience, among others—are helping educators understand that undergraduates do not normally and naturally learn when they participate in international exchange, simply through coming into contact with or through being “immersed” in a country other than their own. Instead, members of the international exchange community, those faculty and staff who work with students departing for or arriving from elsewhere, are coming to understand that we need to intervene, that we need to facilitate our students’ learning, if they are to learn effectively through studying in a new and different cultural environment. The question we are increasingly asking ourselves is, “How should we be intervening in order to maximize our students’ learning?”
This three-day workshop is designed to help participants—faculty and staff working with domestic students studying abroad, with international students studying on our campuses, or with both—respond in concrete ways to that question, through the development of four skills that our domestic and international students need to develop in order to become more interculturally competent:
- Increasing cultural self awareness;
- Increasing awareness of others within their own cultural contexts;
- Learning techniques for “bridging the cultural gap”—which is to say, learning to interact in effective and appropriate ways with culturally different others;
- Cultivating emotional intelligence—developing the capacities to identify, understand, manage, communicate and apply emotions effectively and appropriately.
The workshop embraces a holistic approach to intercultural training, providing opportunities for exploring the emotional, physical and intellectual dimensions of cultural difference. Grounded in developmental and experiential learning theory, it introduces activities that aim to foster awareness of framing and empathetic understanding. It focuses on the development and intentional application of competencies basic to intercultural training, including mindfulness, balancing challenge and support, and stretching beyond one’s comfort zone.
Prior to the workshop, each participant will receive a copy of Student learning abroad: What our students are learning, what they’re not, and what we can do about it, which reviews the theory, research and practice of intercultural training within international education. Participants will also complete surveys that offer insights about their own intercultural competencies and preferred learning styles. They will come away from the workshop with a set of activities to use in their own training, and with enhanced skills to use them effectively.